Welcome to the next article in our personal injury claims series. Today we’ll talk about traffic accidents, traffic accident claims and what you need to know if you have been involved in a traffic accident.
Traffic Accident Claims – An Overview
Unfortunately road traffic accidents are a common occurrence on Irish roads. As of 31st December 2016, there have been 175 fatal collisions, which have resulted in 187 fatalities on Irish roads. This represents 13% more collisions (+20) and 15% more deaths (+25) compared to provisional Garda data for the same period in 2015. This is an unwelcome increase in numbers particularly in the context of the decrease in fatalities seen in 2015 (162) compared to 2014 (193). July was the most dangerous month for road users in 2016 with 21 fatalities recorded, but May and October were also particularly dangerous with 20 deaths recorded in each month. The monthly average to the 31st of December 2016 was 16 fatalities per month.
The highest risk age groups in 2016 are those aged 66 and older (24% of all road users killed), 16-25 (21%) and those aged 26-35 (21%). In 2016, there have been more deaths among those aged 0-15 (+7), 26-35 years (+12), 36-45 years (+3), 46-55 years (+2) and those aged 66 years and older (+14) than in 2015. However, reductions have been seen in those aged 16-25 years (-5), and aged 56-65 years (-8). If you would like to read the full RSA.ie report on all traffic accidents you can view it here.
The Garda Traffic Statistics up to October show very high instances of breach of the Road Traffic Act, 1961. They include – driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs – 6,487, failure to use a seatbelt – 4830, mobile phone usage – 23,207 and speeding – 128,752. These are a factor in the high rate of traffic accident claims. You can read the full report here.
If you have been involved in a road traffic accident you may be entitled to compensation. If you have suffered an injury as the result of a road traffic accident, Regan Solicitors can advise you on the road traffic accident claims process and help you claim any compensation to which you are entitled.
What to do if you have been involved in an accident?
If you’ve been involved in an accident it is essential you note the other drivers insurance details and car registration, as well as their name and contact details and the name of the owner of the vehicle.
In the case of less serious collisions, the Gardaí will often decide not to attend the scene and let the drivers sort it out themselves. If this is the case, you must report the incident to a Garda station as soon as possible. This is especially important in case the other party later disputes that the accident occurred or it transpires they were uninsured.
If the driver at fault is uninsured you may still be able to claim compensation from the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland, but in order to do so the accident must have been reported to the Gardaí within 2 days or as soon as you reasonably can.
The Gardaí are called to the scene in cases of serious accidents or accidents where an ambulance has been called. If there has been a serious injury the Gardaí will take statements from drivers and witnesses. These statements may then be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions who can decide to prosecute.
Following an accident you should always immediately seek medical attention, even if you don’t think your injuries are serious. It can take time for an injury to become apparent and sometimes the full extent of an injury that may seem minor wont become obvious until much later. A doctor will be able to treat your injuries and can provide you with medical evidence that may be necessary in court.
To guarantee the best possible outcome for your situation, you should contact Regan Solicitors as soon as possible after an accident. You can call us on 01 6874100 or fill out our contact form. We have the knowledge and experience to make the process of claiming for your personal injury as quick and stress free as possible. We can help you build a strong case, gather reports from the Gardaí and liaise with insurance companies and experts on your behalf. We understand that making a claim is a stressful time but we are on hand to do the hard work for you and answer any questions and concerns you may have.
Traffic Accident Claims: If liability is not disputed:
If liability is not disputed you may be approached by the other drivers insurance company and offered a settlement. You should never settle a claim without first speaking with a solicitor and seeking medical advice. Settling too early can lead to you being undercompensated should your injuries worsen or should it transpire they are worse than first expected.
Your injury claim will first be sent for evaluation at the Injuries Board. If either you or the other party dispute the amount of compensation, your claim can then be taken to court.
Regan Solicitors can help you navigate through the procedure so the compensation you receive is appropriate to the injuries you have suffered. See our article on the procedure for taking a personal injuries claim for more detailed information.
Traffic Accident Claims: If liability is disputed:
It may be well be the case that liability is contested in the case of an accident. In order to protect your interests, if you are involved in a Road Traffic Accident where liability is disputed you should contact Regan Solicitors immediately so we can begin to gather information and build a strong case.
Type of accidents where we can help:
Road Traffic Accidents can take many forms and drivers aren’t necessarily the only ones injured. As a cyclist you may be entitled to claim to damage to your person and bike if you are involved in a collision that wasn’t your fault.
If you are a passenger in a vehicle and are injured as a result of a road traffic accident you may be entitled to compensation. Your compensation can be reduced if you were not wearing a seatbelt or knew or ought to have known the driver of the vehicle was unfit to drive.
If you as a pedestrian were injured in a road traffic accident you may be entitled to compensation, even if the accident was partially your fault.
As a passenger on public transport you are owed a duty of care. If you are injured when using public transport due to a collision or a sudden stop you may be entitled to make a claim.
Contact Us With Your Traffic Accident Claims Questions
At Regan Solicitors we understand that no two traffic accident claims are alike and we can help you with with your road traffic accident compensation. If you have been involved in any of the road traffic accidents described above you should contact Regan Solicitors as soon as possible.